Defensive Line Issues - Do The Chargers Need To Add More Depth?

The Chargers have issues right now on their defensive line. In the game against the Chiefs the Bolts, at one point, were down to only having 3 defensive linemen available. Luis Castillo is out for a while. Corey Liuget was inactive for the game. Jacques Cesaire got hurt during the game (more on that later). And Antonio Gary had to have some cuts on his face patched up. That left the team with Vaughn Martin, Cam Thomas and Ogemdi Nwagbuo on the line to help stop the Chiefs from completing a come back.

Next week, the problems continue. Garay will obviously be fine. Those cuts are nothing that some Hello Kitty band aids can't fix. However, Norv Turner announced in his press conference that Cesaire will miss a couple of weeks. There's a chance Corey Liuget returns to play the Dolphins, but until he starts practicing again that can't be counted on. When Luis Castillo went down the Chargers were concerend enough about their defensive line that they brought back Nwagbuo. That gave them 6 healthy players on the defensive line. With Castillo and Cesaire out and Liuget banged up they are down to 4 healthy guys. This would suggest that they need to bring someone in.

The ugly side to adding someone is cutting someone. Putting Luis Castillo on IR is also an option, but I doubt the team is ready to go there. The guys that would appear to be on the fringes are Darryl Gamble, Paul Oliver and, yes, Bryan Walters. With Shaun Phillips, Larry English, Antwan Barnes and Travis LaBoy all off the injury list, there isn't a secure place for Gamble on the Chargers. The same goes for Walters where Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, Patrick Crayton, Vincent Brown and Richard Goodman are supposed to be ready to play against the Dolphins. Oliver was recently added as insurance in case Bob Sanders has to miss a lot of time. Sanders still is questionable for next week, but the Chargers already have Steve Gregory as his backup and Oliver wasn't even active against the Chiefs.

The Chargers usually don't do anything exotic when finding these injury replacements (as evidenced when the Chargers brought back Nwagbuo and Oliver). Travis Johnson's name has to come up since he was with the Chargers last year. However, he wasn't part of training camp, so maybe that's a long shot. Mike Blanc, the big man from Auburn, was in camp with the Chargers and could get a call. The Chargers have one DL on their practice squad. His name is Charlie Bryant and he's 6'6, 320 lbs. That sounds more like a reserve nose tackle than a defensive end, but maybe that's okay to just get by for a couple of weeks while Liuget and Cesaire get healthy.

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